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#399436 - 06/05/12 06:11 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Pennsylvania doesn't have such a law to allow aliases. Judge could do nothing. If an adult, nope, there shouldn't be such a thing as aliases. Courts must be open to the inspection of the public including witness. Or, there can be secret trials and secret witnesses and gov't can do anything. That's court. News organizations shouldn't report names of any victims of rape. But, that's voluntary.
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#399444 - 06/05/12 08:16 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
How often are minors identities protected in cases but still fulfill the letter of the law to allow accused to face accusers?

All the bloody time.

I understand the pseudonym thing, but I think in the case of those who are still minors they should use the same techniques and such that have been used in MANY of courtrooms and cases around the country. ESPECIALLY in this case where we know one boy was already bullied out of school because as was pointed out, people want to make them the target of hate over the whole Paterno issue.

So we already have 5 witnesses who are feeling the pressure. I hope they can stay the course, cuz if this guy gets off, he'll just go on to find more victims.

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#399469 - 06/05/12 11:38 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 624
Loc: VA
Any court can act to protect the identity of any witness, if disclosure of his or her name could threaten the witness's safety. It has nothing to do with the right of confrontation--the witness still appears and speaks in court, in the defendant's presence.

Some courts have incorporated special means (stuffed toys, friendly canines) to reassure very young children in CSA and divorce trials. Older witnesses are on their own.

That's why I can't understand this remark by Wes Oliver, a Widener Law School professor, regarding the Sandusky trial: "One of the real questions, it seems to me, that the prosecution has to face is whether they put McQueary on" the stand, Oliver said. "If the jury is left with the impression that the independent witness is making up stuff, then why would people who stand to benefit from this not make stuff up?"

Who "stands to benefit from this"? The accusers? What do they get--a trophy? The only one who is certain to benefit is Amendola--regardless of the outcome.

John

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#399470 - 06/05/12 11:39 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 624
Loc: VA
Whoops, forgot the link to the AP story quoted above:

http://www.wtop.com/351/2888928/Accusers-credibility-possible-Sandusky-strategy

John

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#399506 - 06/05/12 04:37 PM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1488
The law is certainly blind to the fact that minors should be afforded special consideration. True - consideration should be given to protect the rights of the accused. And true - most of those testifying are probably no longer minors. But children - and victims who were children at the time of their victimization - need the fundamental protection of dignity that assured anonymity gives them. That was precisely whet the crime took from them, and while it is not the courts job to give it back, the judicial system should certainly understand the negative impact that identity disclosure has on requisite candor.
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#399588 - 06/06/12 01:31 PM * [Re: LN3(SS)]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 04:41 PM)

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#399655 - 06/07/12 09:32 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
Chris Anderson Offline
Executive Director
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/21/12
Posts: 238
Loc: New York
For those who are interested, I had an op-ed pubished about this decision in the Centre Daily TImes today.

http://www.centredaily.com/2012/06/07/3220748/support-accusers-in-their-search.html

With regards to adult defendants, this decision is somewhat standard legal procedure as I understand it. However I feel that because there have been few cases like this before, with the type of coverage and scrutiny this case is likely to get, I would have preferred that judge Cleland be more mindful of that. To his credit, in his decision he did indicate that he was keenly aware of the issues at stake for the accusers, but he felt that he had no legal grounds for granting this request.

In the long run, there is a chance that had he allowed the adult accusers to testify under pseudonyms an appeals court could have found procedural error and refused to uphold any convictions, which would send the case back to trial and very likely force the accusers to testify a second time under their real names.

Chris

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#399657 - 06/07/12 09:38 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
Chris Anderson Offline
Executive Director
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/21/12
Posts: 238
Loc: New York
It should also be noted that none of the accusers has pulled out at this point because of this ruling.

Their courage and bravery should be an inspiration for all of us. I would encourage those of us who are filled with frustration to take a lead from these men and do all we can to support them.

Chris

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#399659 - 06/07/12 09:58 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 624
Loc: VA
Does Pennsylvania have any laws regarding tampering with witnesses? The US Code makes it a crime with prison terms up to 30 years to threaten or intimidate a witness or victim in a federal case with the intent to influence his/her testimony or willingness to appear. 18 USC 1512. In a criminal case, the tamperer can get a sentence as long as the defendant could get in the original prosecution.

Also, isn't "Victim 4" the one who's still a minor? Is there any special consideration under PA law for protecting the identity of a minor who is a complaining witness in a sexual assault case?

Just askin'.

John

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#399665 - 06/07/12 11:14 AM Re: Sandusky Trial: Victims can't use Aliases [Re: phoenix321]
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
I am personally against protecting the identity of the witnesses except in a case where there is an imminent danger to the life of the witness. CSA survivors, even those that are still minors, deserve no special consideration in this area.

The public has an interest in having an open courtroom. The defendant has an interest in requiring that people who wish to charge him with a crime are required to do so openly.

I am strongly against creating a special exception for CSA survivors that would not apply equally to all survivors. Sexual assault is a crime no matter what the age. If adult survivors are not allowed to use a pseudonym or have their identity otherwise obscured, then child survivors should not enjoy that protection.

I happen to agree with this quote from Chris:
Originally Posted By: Chris Anderson"
Our justice system must require accusers to face these dangers in order to protect the rights of the accused and ensure a fair trial.
If we want to charge our perpetrators, great. But we must also be willing to stand the light of public scrutiny no matter what our age.

Equal Justice Under Law.

Brian
_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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